Blockchain for Managers (online)


Blockchain is a shared, replicated ledger that underpins technology such as Bitcoin. Blockchain's reach is far wider than cryptocurrency however, as it sets out to provide the foundation for a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust and transparency, while streamlining business processes. Are you curious about Blockchain and what it can do?

In this online course you will learn the essentials of blockchain:

  • What blockchain (distributed ledger technology) is and why it is important
  • Common use-cases, patterns and pitfalls
  • How to get started on your first project: the costs, tasks and expected returns
  • How to make sure your blockchain project is successful, and integrated with what you already have

Blockchain gathers interest from a broad range of people, from the C-suite to the developer community. It follows therefore that managers of all levels will benefit from knowledge of blockchain, whether they are implementing a business case for a CTO to help reduce cost, or helping developers understand the potential of a distributed transactional programming model.

The course will focus on the use of distributed ledgers in private business networks as well as networks that involve organizations in the public sector, charities, academia and other institutions with defined suppliers and consumers. It will not focus on the use of anonymous blockchains, or the use of blockchains for (and investment in) cryptocurrencies.


This course is intended for anyone with an interest in blockchain. It will focus on answering the “so-what” question, with the aim of allowing attendees to understand enough about what blockchain is to identify when it is appropriate and its strengths and weaknesses.

The course is perfect for those with management responsibility. It will allow attendees to understand what is necessary to implement blockchain solutions without diving into the engineering, and thus will give attendees a feel for the costs and benefits associated with getting started on this new technology.

It will be delivered through a mixture of lecture, discussion and short exercises.

Dates, Times and Delivery

The Blockchain for Managers (Online) course will run from 25 – 28 January 2021, with online sessions delivered via Microsoft Teams.

Sessions will be held each day, Mon – Thurs, at 12:00 – 13:30 (UK time).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here:

This is a ‘virtual classroom’ course.

To replicate the experience of a classroom, the sessions are ‘live’ and are not recorded.

No attendance at Oxford is required and you do not need to purchase any software

Programme details

Session 1: What is Blockchain

With blockchain it’s very easy to get caught up in the technical weeds, but in this session we will steer clear of the technology and cover the basics of what blockchain is and why it’s important for business. We’ll aim to answer questions such as these:

  • What is the business context behind blockchain? 
  • What are the different types of blockchain? How is blockchain for business different to public blockchains like Bitcoin?
  • What is the potential for blockchain? Where is it headed?

Session 2: Blockchain Usage Patterns

Blockchain continues to be the focus of hype, and navigating what’s real from what’s snake oil can be difficult. In this session we’ll look at real blockchain use-cases and identify common patterns where it’s been successful.

  • How is blockchain currently being used by others? In what areas has blockchain already seen success?
  • How do you identify a good blockchain use-case? What are the warning bells for bad use-cases?
  • What are the right questions to ask when evaluating a potential blockchain solution?

Session 3 : Planning Blockchain Solutions

If you’re looking to use blockchain to solve a business problem, there are a set of recommendations for ensuring that your project gets off on the right track. Effective planning is critical, and this session takes you through the initial things you need to consider.

  • What are the steps to agreeing a blockchain project? What aspects of the solution need early identification?
  • How do you collaborate with stakeholders to lay the foundations for a successful blockchain? 
  • How do you get started with your very first blockchain project?

Session 4 : Integrating Blockchain Solutions

The impact of a blockchain solution will be limited unless it can be successfully integrated with your existing systems architectures and business processes. In the final session of the course we will look at the IT landscape into which a blockchain can fit and the organizational roles that make a blockchain solution endure.

  • Who are the key stakeholders that make a blockchain successful?
  • How do you make blockchains run alongside your existing systems and processes?
  • How would some of the blockchain use, cases we’ve discussed be implemented in a systems architecture?


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford electronic certificate of attendance. 

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.

You will be required to attend all of the live sessions on the course in order to be considered for an attendance certificate. 


Description Costs
Course fee £395.00


Fees include electronic copies of course materials.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

All courses are VAT exempt.


Matthew Paul Lucas

Global Blockchain Engagement, ‎IBM

Matthew Lucas, MSc BSc FBCS, leads IBM's enablement and education initiatives for blockchain.

He is responsible for ensuring that clients, business partners, students and IBMers understand blockchain technologies and apply them correctly.

Matt authors much of IBM's blockchain material, including presentations, tutorials and courses, and regularly lectures at a wide number of universities world-wide.

He is based in IBM’s Hursley development laboratory in the United Kingdom and has worked with IBM for over 20 years on a variety of integration middleware technologies.


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.

Selection criteria

The course is designed for:

  • Professionals who work, or will work, in a management capacity.
  • Professionals seeking to enhance their blockchain skills.

There are no pre-requisites for this course, although any background knowledge of business fundamentals, the management of agile projects and the use of concepts such as Design Thinking would be an advantage.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online using Microsoft Teams. You will be required to follow and implement the instructions we send you to fully access Microsoft Teams on the University of Oxford's secure IT network.

To participate you must be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

It is advised to use headphones with working speakers and microphone.